Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Genesis 50:20 – July 23, 2019

Genesis 50:1-26

Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept over him and kissed him. Then Yosef ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Isra’el. Forty days were spent at this, the normal amount of time for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

When the period of mourning was over, Yosef addressed to the household of Pharaoh: “I would like to ask a favor. Tell Pharaoh, ‘My father had me swear an oath. He said, “I am going to die. You are to bury me in my grave, which I dug for myself in the land of Kena‘an.” Therefore, I beg you, let me go up and bury my father; I will return.’” Pharaoh responded, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

So Yosef went up to bury his father. With him went all Pharaoh’s servants, the leaders of his household and the leaders of the land of Egypt, along with the entire household of Yosef, his brothers and his father’s household; only their little ones, their flocks and their cattle did they leave in the land of Goshen. Moreover, there went up with him both chariots and horsemen — it was a very large caravan.

10 When they arrived at the threshing-floor in Atad, beyond the Yarden, they raised a loud and bitter lamentation, mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the local inhabitants, the Kena‘ani, saw the mourning on the floor of Atad they said, “How bitterly the Egyptians are mourning!” This is why the place was given the name Avel-Mitzrayim [mourning of Egypt], there beyond the Yarden.

12 His sons did to him as he had ordered them to do — 13 they carried him into the land of Kena‘an and buried him in the cave in the field of Makhpelah, which Avraham had bought, along with the field, as a burial-place belonging to him, from ‘Efron the Hitti, by Mamre.

14 Then, after burying his father, Yosef returned to Egypt, he, his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

15 Realizing that their father was dead, Yosef’s brothers said, “Yosef may hate us now and pay us back in full for all the suffering we caused him.” 16 So they sent a message to Yosef which said, “Your father gave this order before he died: 17 ‘Say to Yosef, “I beg you now, please forgive your brothers’ crime and wickedness in doing you harm.”’ So now, we beg of you, forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Yosef wept when they spoke to him; 18 and his brothers too came, prostrated themselves before him and said, “Here, we are your slaves.” 19 But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved. (vii) 21 So don’t be afraid — I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.

22 Yosef continued living in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Yosef lived 110 years. (Maftir) 23 Yosef lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nasheh’s son Makhir were born on Yosef’s knees.

24 Yosef said to his brothers, “I am dying. But God will surely remember you and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.” 25 Then Yosef took an oath from the sons of Isra’el: “God will surely remember you, and you are to carry my bones up from here.” 26 So Yosef died at the age of 110, and they embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.  (Genesis 50:1-26) Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

 

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Torah Commentary – Vayechi (He Lived) – Enjoying the Fruit – SCRIPTURES FOR December 30, 2017

Living Torah Commentary

Vayechi (He Lived)

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Genesis 47:28-50:26
1Kings 2:1-12
Hebrews 11:21-22
1Peter 1:3-9; 2:11-17
Enjoying the Fruit
Ya’akov is 130 years old when he arrives in Egypt. The following 17 years will be a gift in which he will be able to enjoy the fruit of his life, his family. During this time he will watch his boys mature, marry and bring forth children. Possibly the most joy he will have is spending time with the sons of Yosef. His appreciation and thanksgiving for them had to be very special.
Ya’akov knows his days are numbered and begins one of the greatest honors a father can give, blessing his children. He begins not with his sons, but rather his two grandsons, Efrayim and M’nasheh. It makes me wonder if these two, now young adults, were concerned about what would become of them after Ya’akov died. Had they been told the story of how Yosef was treated and wondered if they would be fully accepted after his death? Any doubts as to their place in the family were laid to rest as Ya’akov changed their family status from grandsons to sons. Efrayim and M’nasheh were not to feel like second class citizens in the family of Israel. May we receive this message in our day.
The teaching of the blessings is so rich, not only for them, but for us as the first words of the blessings tell us he was speaking more to a family living at the end of time than in their time. For those who would like to dig further into these blessings there are four messages I recorded some years ago called “The Twelve Tribes.” The mp3 downloads are available at http://www.joinedtohashem.org/audio-series.html.
When Ya’akov finishes the blessings the verse says he breathed his last and was gathered to his people. I find these words rich. For Ya’akov, death was as natural as life. In fact, most of his life had been a struggle; his death was one of the easiest steps he took. What a contrast to most people’s lives today. Ya’akov may have taught his family as much in his death as he did in his life. This is a great lesson to ponder.
The last request of Ya’akov was regarding his burial. He did not leave his wishes to chance or for his family to discuss. He made sure his wishes were known. This is another good lesson to ponder. For Ya’akov, his last words proved that for him, you may take the man of covenant out of Israel, but you can never take Israel out of the man of covenant.
A couple more points. First is concerning the sons and their suspicion of Yosef. Though the 17 years Yaakov was alive, the sons of Yaakov never really accepted that Yosef had fully forgiven them, it is evident through their last recorded words prior to the death of Yosef that this had been a topic of conversation.  Just how many sons were still alive to bring forth these words? Yosef was one of the youngest. Had the suspicions of possible retribution been passed to their sons? We do not know the details, but there is something for us to consider.
Yosef is again a type and shadow of Messiah son of Yosef. Let me ask you this, “When it comes to your life and trusting our sins to be forgiven, do we fully trust or have doubts?” Is there a haunting thought in the back of your mind that there was that one thing you are just not sure has been forgiven?  Take a look at Psalm 103:12. Notice the verse does not say north and south. Why? For if he removed sins from north to south they could be found again. Think of it regarding the sphere of the earth. From south you can only go so far north till you find it and vice versa. East and west never meet. Allowing His forgiveness of ALL THINGS is a very freeing day. The story of Yosef allows us to walk in that forgiveness.
The end of the days of Yosef approach as we come to the end of Genesis. What are his last instructions? Don’t leave my bones in Egypt! Though his life has been one of great honor and prosperity in Egypt, he learned and walked in the example of his father, “You can take the man of covenant out of Israel, but you can’t take Israel out of the man of covenant”.
Let us live that lesson well! (Click to Source)

 

Weekly Torah Readings: Vay’khi – from One New Man Bible – Dec 29, 2017

jacob_blessing_ephraim_manasseh

Vay’khi

Jacob Lives another Seventeen Years

47:28. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, so the whole age of Jacob was a hundred forty-seven years.29. And the time drew near for Israel to die, and he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have now found favor in your sight, put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh and deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me, I pray you, in Egypt. 30. But I shall lie with my fathers and you will carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying-place.” And he said, “I shall do as you have said.”31. And he said, “Swear to me.” And he swore to him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48.1. And it was after these things, that someone told Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.2. And someone told Jacob and said, “Behold, your son Joseph is coming to you.” And Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. 3. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me 4. and said to me, ‘Behold, I shall make you fruitful and multiply you, and I shall make of you a congregation of people, and I shall give the land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5. And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before My coming to you in Egypt, are mine, like Reuben and Simeon. They will be mine. 6. And your children, which you father after them, will be yours and will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7. And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when yet there was but a little way to come to Efrat and I buried her there on the road of Efrat, the same is Bethlehem.”

48:8. And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?” 9. And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons whom God has given me in this place.” And he said, “Bring them to me now and I shall bless them.” 10. Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so he could not see. And he brought them near to him and he kissed them and embraced them. 11.And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face and, lo, God has also shown me your seed.”

48:12. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand and brought them near to him. 14. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head. He guided his hands wittingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.15. And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God Who fed me all my life long to this day, 16. the angel who redeemed me from everything bad, bless the lads and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Heb. 11:21)

48:17. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18. And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19. And his father refused and said, “I know it, my son, I know it. He also will become a people and he also will be great, but truly his younger brother will be greater than he and his seed will become the fullness of the nations.”

48:20. And he blessed them that day saying, “In you will Israel bless saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’” And he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

21. And Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you again to the land of your fathers.22. Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”

Jacob Blesses the Remaining Sons

49.1. And Jacob called to his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, so I can tell you what will befall you in the last days. 2. Gather yourselves together and listen, you sons of Jacob, and hearken to Israel your father.

49:3. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellence of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4. unstable as water, you will not excel because you went up to your father’s bed, then you defiled the one who ascended my couch.

49:5. “Simeon and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence are their downfall. 6. O my soul, do not come into their secret, to their assembly, my honor. Do not be united, for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed an ox. 7.Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I shall divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.

49:8. “Judah, you are he whom your brothers will praise: your hand will be on the neck of your enemies, your father’s children will bow down before you. 9. Judah is a lion’s whelp, from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched like a lion and as an old lion. Who will rouse him up? 10. The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor a Torah scholar from between his feet, until Shiloh comes: and the gathering of the peoples will be to Him. (Rev. 5:5) 11. Binding His foal to the vine and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed His garments in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes. (Rev.7:14; 19:13) 12. His eyes will be red with wine, (Rev. 1:14) and His teeth white with milk.

49:13. “Zebulun will live at the haven of the sea, and he will be for a haven of ships, and his border will be to Zidon.

49:14. “Issachar is a strong donkey lying down between the sheepfolds: 15. and he saw that rest was good, and the land that was pleasant and bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant to tribute.

49:16. “Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17. Dan will be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider will fall backward. 18. I have waited for Your salvation, LORD*.

49:19. “Gad, a troop will press upon him, but he will press upon their heel.

49:20. “Out of Asher his bread will be fat, and he will yield royal dainties.

49:21. “Naphtali is a deer let loose. He gives beautiful sayings.

49:22. “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. 23. The archers have sorely grieved him and shot at him, and hated him. 24. But his bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob; from there he became the shepherd, the stone of Israel: 25. even by the God of your father, Who will help you, the Almighty Who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep lying below, blessings of the bosom, and of the womb. 26. The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors to the endless boundaries of the everlasting hills. They will be on the head of Joseph and on the crown of his head that was from the exile of his brothers.

49:27. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf: in the morning he will devour the prey and at night he will divide the spoil.”

49:28. All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed each one according to his blessing. 29. And he charged them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Efron the Hittite. 30. In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Efron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. 31. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebeccah his wife, and there  I buried Leah. 32. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is there was from the children of Heth.” 33. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed and expired and was gathered to his people.

Jacob Buried in Israel

50.1. And Joseph fell upon his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3. And forty days were fulfilled for him, for so are fulfilled the days of those that are embalmed, and the Egyptians mourned seventy days for him.

50:4. And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh saying, 5. My father made me swear saying, ‘Lo, I am dying. You will bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now therefore let me go up, I pray you, and bury my father and I shall come back.” 6. And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

50:7. Then Joseph went up to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went up with him, 8. and the whole house of Joseph and his brothers and his father’s house. They left only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9. And both chariots and horsemen went up with him and it was a very great company. 10. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very deep lamentation and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: therefore the name of it was called Abel-Egypt, which is beyond the Jordan.”

50:12. And his sons did for him as he had commanded them. 13. For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying place from Efron the Hittite, before Mamre.

50:14. And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he, his brothers, and all who went up with him to bury his father.

50:15. And when Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Maybe Joseph will hate us, and will certainly pay us back for all the bad that we did to him.” 16. So they sent a messenger to Joseph saying, “Your father commanded before he died saying, 17. ‘So will you say to Joseph, Forgive, I beseech you now, the transgression of your brothers and their sins, for they did evil to you.’ And now, we pray you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18. And his brothers also went and fell down before his face and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19. And Joseph said to them, “Do not be in awe! For am I in the place of God? 20. But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to make happen, as it is this day, to save many people alive.  21. Now therefore do not be in awe! I shall take care of you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

50:22. And Joseph dwelled in Egypt, he and his father’s house, and Joseph lived a hundred ten years. 23. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation, also the children of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees. 24. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying and God will surely visit you and bring you out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25. And Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel saying, “God will surely visit you and you will carry up my bones from here.” 26. So Joseph died, a hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Vayigash (He approached) – The Day! – SCRIPTURES FOR December 23, 2017

Living Torah Commentary

Vayigash (He approached) 
Genesis 44:18-47:27
Ezekiel 37:15-28
Acts 7:9-16
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The Day!
This Torah portion may well be my favorite of all! To consider the prophetic shadows within these words is overwhelming to me. I have no idea how many times I have tried to imagine the scene we are reading. Yosef is standing in front of his brothers. They have no idea who this man is standing in front of them. Yosef has an Egyptian name; he looks like an Egyptian, dresses like an Egyptian. Not in their wildest of dreams would they have thought of Yosef.
Now consider the Egyptians in the room. Who do they think Yosef is? Some may remember being told he was a Hebrew, but does it really matter to them? They see him as now being one of their own culture.
Then there is Yosef, the only person in the room that knows who he really is. The desire to reveal himself not only to his brothers, but to all present is burning inside of him, but he can’t. Not yet. The testing of the sons of Israel is not quite finished.
Last week, Binyamin is brought to the forefront of the story. He is the one used by Yosef to look deep into the inward souls of his ten brothers. Yosef does not know how this will turn out. As far as he knows they are going to leave Binyamin the same way they left him. He rolled the dice and has not seen how they land.
In the end it will be Y’hudah who will step up to defend his half-brother. Just imagine how difficult it is for Yosef to stand and hear his half-brother come to the rescue of his full brother. It is more than Yosef can bear. Can you imagine what began to go through the boys minds when Yosef cleared the room of all the Egyptians? The brothers are not seeing this turn out very well!
Yosef turns back to his brothers with tears and a huge lump in his throat to utter some of the most beautiful words in Scripture, “Ani Yoseph” (I am Joseph).
Why do I refer to “Ani Yosef” as beautiful words? These words are the shadow of a future event in which Messiah stands before His family to reveal Himself. That day we all may be a bit undone when His true nature is revealed before us. I pray that my whole being will scream with desire for that day to be soon and in my lifetime.
Here is a twist though. Have you ever thought about how much He desires to be revealed?
Think again about Yosef. Every fiber of his being was screaming at him to speak the words of revelation, but he had to remain silent. Would the boys sell out Binyamin like they had done him so many years earlier or would they stand for each other no matter the personal consequences?
So what is holding Messiah back from being revealed in our day? Is it because His desire is not there? I think not. Is it possibly because world events are not quite in place? After all, Yah can make world events happen transpire quickly if needed. What if the answer is that we have not yet passed the test whether we will sell each other out or defend each other no matter the cost?
 At some point in time the shadows of this story will be the substance of reality. If there really is a part we can do to bring it to pass sooner rather than later, how about we get with it. Let’s start today to treat others like the family which will one day be changed from the most dysfunctional to ever live to the one which will be the model of righteousness and love for the entire world to see.  (Click to Source)

 

Torah Commentary – Mikketz (At the End) – Though It Lingers, Never Give Up – SCRIPTURES FOR December 16, 2017

Torah Commentary
Mikketz (At the End)jesus-in-the-synagogue
Genesis 41:1-44:17
1 Kings 3:15-4:1
Acts 7:9-16
Though It Lingers, Never Give Up  
I often consider the life of Yosef as I feel it has much to say to my own life. His life was one of twists and turns that no one could have foreseen. His was also a life of promises which seemed to be out of his grasp. Can you relate?
Our Torah portion begins with the words, “At the end of two years.” It does not say anything about these two years, just states they happened. Think back over your last two years since the first part of December 2015! Have you had anything happen since then? How much has happened? Have you experienced successes, failures or should we say “learning experiences”? What about betrayals or the twists and turns of life?
Consider Yosef’s two years. He was in a prison cell. Probably not much was happening outside of staring at walls. How might his life relate to ours? Glad you asked. Yosef was waiting; waiting for the promise of a dream to be fulfilled. I believe it was the dream that kept him going on a daily basis. He had to ask himself many times if the dream was real or not. When he did, something deep within answered with a resounding “yes”. The dream remained alive and in fact may have kept him alive to the end of those long two years.
The prophet Habakkuk may have thought of Yosef when he received a prophecy now recorded as a book of Scripture for us. Habakkuk was given a promise and wondered when it would happen. In chapter two of his book he is told that though the promise may seem to linger from his standpoint, from the view of the Heavenly realm, it will come to pass right on time. Too bad Yosef did not have the book of Habakkak to read.
Where am I going with this?
Do you have promises you believe Father has given you? Are there dreams in your life becoming pretty distant in your memories? Do you wonder if those things were truly promises or the result of too much pizza the night before? Here in the midst of the Feast of Hanukah would be a good time to bring those things to mind again. Submit them to the Father and listen for a renewal of those promises. Allow Him to sort out what was from Him and what was not.
I wonder if it was a day like I am asking of you which Yosef was going through in his prison cell. Could it have been a day which he was at the end of his rope so to say? He had thought about the dreams over and over and was just about to give up, for the “Linger Time” was just more than he could stand. Could he have been thinking “If nothing happens tomorrow, I am done with those dreams?” Little did he know while he was staring toward the heavens, Pharaoh was having dreams which would bring his promise to pass.
Here is a question for you. What if Yosef had given up just one day earlier? Was the fulfillment of the promise tied to him remaining faithful to it? We cannot say, but what if?
What if the fulfillment of the promises given to us is tied to our remaining faithful to them? Are you willing to chance the answer on this?
Let’s look at it from a different angle. After Yosef is summoned to Pharaoh he interprets his dreams. He then makes a great statement of faith in Genesis 41:32 which states, “The matter has been established by Elohim.” Did those words resound in Yosef as he realized all he had been through in his own life had also been established by Elohim? Did he now see his own faithfulness had been a gift to keep him from giving up?
I am asking many questions this week. The purpose is to cause each of us to think back over promises to possibly cause us to renew our grasp on them. It would be a shame to think if our faithfulness does play a part in His work that we gave up just before a knock on the door. That knock by the way may have sounded like the knock of a prison guard to Yosef, but what was it really? It was the knock of Elohim summoning Yosef into a promise given years earlier.
A last thought concerning Yosef. As the events of his life are happening, Yah is causing a famine in the land of his family, a famine which would cause his brothers to seek food, but find Yosef. What an interesting turn of events as what put him in prison to begin with was him seeking for his brothers. What a great twist!
My ending words are adapted from Churchill, Never, Never, Never give up on the promises He has spoken to you! (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Vayeshev (He Continued Living) – Now That is Dysfunction – SCRIPTURES FOR December 9, 2017

Torah Commentary

jesus-synagogue

Vayeshev (He Continued Living)
Genesis 37:1-40:23
Amos 2:6-3:8
Acts 7:9-16
Now That is Dysfunction
The trials of Esau, Laban and the ordeal at Sh’khem and the death of Rachel are now behind Jacob. He even has a new name. I’m sure he thought it would be time to take life easy to enjoy his family, right? Not so fast. Now the trials take on a whole new level. The star at center stage of these new trails is Yosef, the favored son. With Yosef, the fruit of the dysfunction of this family will ripen to full maturity.
Many of us would say we come from families that were or are dysfunctional at some level. Some may be minor dysfunction; others would be over the top. The family of the one now called the “Prince of El” will live like anything but their name. Consider your family. Most of us may have thought about selling a family member, but really going through with it, probably not. We also see the constant underlying attitude of jealousy. It almost comes to the harshest consequence, murder. This family gets the trophy for dysfunctional family of all times.
As we are a part of this family called Israel now, here is a question in the midst of this Torah portion. “Are we doing any better than they were a few thousand years ago?” I don’t really think I even need to offer an answer on that one as it is way too obvious.
Over the next few weeks we will read of the life of Yosef. It is interesting that almost 25 percent of the book of Genesis is devoted to this man’s life. We will read of how he rose to power to only to be thrown in a prison. He will then be betrayed by new friends and left to stare once again at prison walls. Life will take a real turn and he will rise to a position of power which will in the end provide for the uniting of his family. This relocation and unification should give harmony and peace for generations of the family of Israel. Well, maybe not. The sad truth is that though the family of Israel was brought together, the idea of living happily ever after is still something that is out of our grasp.
It is true that the family of Israel is just as dysfunctional as it has ever been. We have taken dysfunction to a new level in many ways. Today we have people who are part of the family that don’t even know they are part of the family. There are those who believe the family is done away with and replaced by a new family. Regarding the rules of the family, well that is another matter all together. Today, the family of Israel is full of realms, backbiting, anger and a host of other things. What is the answer? What can we do to affect change? Can we affect change? I believe so. In fact if I did not believe that I sure would not be doing what I am doing.
How can we affect change in this family of Israel? Here are some ideas.
First of all, quit arguing! Yes, it is that simple. I know people who thrive on Facebook arguments. What a waste of time. Think about it. In the end, how many people have you won over to your way of thinking through these arguments? If this is your purpose you are arguing for your own self satisfaction and worth anyway. Wrong motivation! It is true that it takes two to tango. Want to affect change? Quit the tango.
Next idea would be to celebrate blessings within the family instead of being jealous when someone is blessed. This idea alone would have made a difference in the life of Yosef and his brothers.
How about actually seeking to esteem others in the family better than ourselves instead of just reading those words of Paul? Being a servant to the family will change the atmosphere positively. There is a novel idea.
Of course, my list could go on and on. It would be my list though, not yours. What each of us needs to do as we read, especially this Torah portion is to look at our own lives, compile our own lists of attitudes, habits, beliefs and other things that are adding to the dysfunction instead of unity in Him.
In the end, this family known as Israel, the most dysfunctional family to ever live will be the world’s model for what a family of Yah is to look like. This family will walk in unity and blessing like no other family has ever walked. We are not there yet. May we not be satisfied to just continue like we are, waiting for Messiah’s return, thinking that at that time He is just going to zap us into perfection! Are we willing to learn from those we read about this week and make a decision to quit walking in their footsteps and begin to walk in His? In the end it really is our choice. Let us choose life! (Click to Source)